Avoid the rainy season – why? How often have you heard those immortal words, “Avoid the rainy season”. In my opinion, whoever wrote those words has never been in Costa Rica between May 15th and November 15th, our terrible rainy season, or what the tourist promoters call the green season. Most of Costa Rica was originally a rainforest, much still remains, so rain is a part of our lives, and can’t be avoided living here but I question why? The words ‘rainy season’ conjure up images of a 24 hour non-stop hurricane inundating Costa Rica, forcing people indoors, streets turning into rivers, Grandma, in her nightie, floating past, holding on to a log for dear life. Nothing could be further[…]

Adventure Inn is a pet-friendly hotel. We have certain rooms reserved for people with well-behaved pets, not far from the front door where in the case of dogs, you can walk it across our quiet street to a field where your dog can relieve itself. For cats we put a cardboard box in the guests room with torn newspaper. We ask everyone to take full responsibility for their pets. Any loss of income because of their pet or damage will be charged to the guest. We insist guests keep their pets off the furniture and make sure that it does not disturb other guests, including noise; growling, barking, whining, etc in the case of dogs and scratching furniture in the[…]

People are quite flexible, adaptive and mostly patient when it comes to every day living. The drive to work was congested, the cable company charged you for channels you aren’t getting, your boss forgot to tell you about a change in your schedule, someone enrolled your daughter in the wrong class at swimming lessons, you forgot to pick up your son after his dentist appointment, these are all things that are frustrating and annoying at the time, but you roll with the punches, and tomorrow’s a new day. You put up with a lot to function in this world, sometimes feeling like a small cog in a huge machine, an ant living under the rules of the colony, but knowing[…]

According to the Minister of Tourism here in Costa Rica, Allan Flores, tourism in Costa Rica is divided into six sectors: adventure, ecotourism, wellness, medical, rural and convention tourism. I’m not sure where people who just want a break and come here to relax and do nothing fit in. Anyway, he thinks we are strong in the first five sectors but lacking decisively in the last, much of the convention trade lost in particular to Panama over the last decade. A national convention center has been on the drawing board for the last twenty years, but that is as far as it ever went until recently.

I never thought I’d find a member hotel that I would actually write about, but my simple overnight experience at The Lookout Inn Lodge in Carate changed my mind. The lodge is a series of open-air cabinas surrounded by jungle, all pressed against a near-cliff on a remote stretch of pristine jungle-backed black beach, each cabina adjoined by stairs and platforms to the main lodge. The entire lodge gives you the feeling it was hand-made from jungle findings, and gives you great visual access from the comfort of your cabina to the distant soothing sea and the nearby plethora of wildlife that makes the Lookout Inn one of their daily stops, if not home.

In 2005 a group of twenty-two small to mid-sized hotels from many Costa Rican tourist destinations banded together to take on the system. Looking for intelligent options to fill their rooms, and tired of waiting for guests to miraculously arrive at their hotel when counting on travel agents and the big internet boys (expedia, travelocity, orbitz and hotels.com), the hotel group started off on the simple premise of working as a team by sending guests to each other, and offering the guests a 10% discount as incentive.

Ticos (the name Costa Ricans have given themselves) are a very complex and unique Latin American sub-culture. There are two theories as to the origination of the term ‘Tico’. The first is that Costa Ricans tend to end words with ‘tico’ rather than the widely-used ‘ito’.